Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Jason Olinger, Automotive Technician, Gwatney Chevrolet. Jason shares with us his insight on why there is a technician shortage, solutions to help fight the technician shortage, and more.

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What Caused the Technician Shortage?

  • There used to be a stigma when a new tech came into the shop that there would be less work/money for the techs who already work there.
  • There are some older technicians who talk to the new technicians with a negative mentality and scare them away from the industry.
  • People are starting to realize the technician shortage is affecting everybody in the shop, not just the owner.
  • For so long, technicians weren’t prioritized in a dealership setting. They were there to support the front end. Now, technicians are being treated as important as everyone else in the dealership.

Combating the Technician Shortage—Apprenticeship Programs

  • Start early—Get in the schools when kids are young, and start building relationships.
  • Show kids this is a great career choice. Kids can start working in a shop and be successful without piling up debt from going to college.
  • Shops need to start an apprenticeship program to help students see what it is like in this industry. Create a structured program where students can do online learning, then come in the shop and learn with their hands.
  • Paint a positive perception for young people coming in. Show them what it truly looks like to work in a shop.

Mentorship Tips for Technicians

  • First of all, make sure the mentor knows what they’re talking about. If they don’t know an answer to a question, don’t make something up.
  • Set a good example. Show young technicians you’re doing the same stuff you are teaching them.
  • Don’t become a mentor just to make some extra money. Take the time to teach them—that is why they’re there; they want to learn.
  • As a mentor, you’re a role model to the young technician you are teaching. It’s a heavy job to be a mentor, and you need to take it seriously.

Lube Rack is the Most Important Job in the Shop!

Show Notes


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About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
Co-Founder & President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.512.7330

About Our Guest:

Jason Olinger
Automotive Technician, Gwatney Chevrolet


WheelTime Network consistently delivers your quality truck and coach repairs on time and on budget – minimizing delays and maximizing profit. The WheelTime Network is comprised of 16 independent Member companies and 152 service locations across the U.S. and Canada.

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